Learn the basics of SynthDrum Pads
and drum synthesis in these short introductory tutorials.

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User Guide

How to Create
a Bass Kick

SynthDrum Pads comes with no presets, so it will be essential to learn some basics of drum programming. We will kick off by starting with a bass drum, with a sound not too dissimilar to an 808 kick.
You will notice that above each pad is a set of parameters. These are the parameters that effect the sound associated with that pad. Lets start with the first pad and navigate straight to the "Tone" section.
When a drummer puts his foot down on the pedal of a kick drum the beater hits the skin of the drum, which makes the skin vibrate very quickly and loudly. Over a very short period of time the skin vibrates slower and slower, and quieter and quieter until the skin comes to rest. The pitch and amplitude can be plotted out as two curves. (see image)
We will first need to push the volume of the tone up so we can hear what we are doing. We will then put the decay up to about 10 o'clock so it has a short decay. This mimics the amplitude curve. Now we will modulate the pitch to start at a high pitch and drop down to a low one. Put the frequency to 9 o'clock and the depth to 10.30.
Some extra character can be added with some noise. We will be looking at noise in the next tutorial when we look at creating snare drums.

How to Create Snare Drums

– Bring the Noise

In the last tutorial we looked at how we can use the tone section, (which you may have noticed was a sine wave) to create a kick drum. This time we will focusing on 'noise' in the form of white noise, and 'click'; a short burst of noise.
A snare is named after the metal spring pulled taut underneath the drum. This is also what gives it its crisp sound, that can cut straight through the mix.
Navigate to pad two's noise section. Pull up the volume knob and drag out the decay. You will notice that we can change the decay to make vastly different snare sounds.
I am going to add a some body to my snare with a bit of tone. I started off with similar settings to the kick drum patch, but increased the pitch and dropped the volume to balance it out nicely with the noise. Notice I used almost no frequency modulation.

Hi Hats & Cymbals

We can synthesize a hi-hat with a little noise. Pull the volume of the click up and give it a listen. This already sound not too dissimilar to a closed hi–hat.
Lets go a bit further and add a bit more noise. Turn the volume knob and increase the decay a little. You will notice that we can make our hi–hat sound closed or open by adjusting the decay.
Lets make a cymbal on pad 4.
I am going to start by adding some click to get the sound of the cymbal being struck. Now I will increase the volume of the noise and draw out the decay all the way. I am then going to use the pitch, which is basically a hi–pass filter to take out some of the lower to mid range.
We have now made 4 popular percussion instruments inherent to the drum kit.

Looping with Delay

Delay is pretty cool for giving a sense of space, But we can do a lot more with delay. We can use short subtle delay to thicken the sound much like a chorus effect, or we can use it for making a loop.
SynthDrum pads does not come with a sequencer (yet) so if we want to get a groove going we will have to use the delay.
To do this drag both the 'mix' and 'feedback' sliders all the way up. Use the speed slider to set the length.
Note that moving the speed slider when looping will create some pops and clicks, but this is great for glitch styles of EDM.

Save & Load

Saving and loading is easy in SynthDrum.
To save; click on one of the 4 save buttons to save to the memory slot. The LED next to save will flash twice to confirm saving complete. Similarly to load, click the load button. Patches load instantly.